Calexico to close courthouse, Brawley to get their jail court cases

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Brawley Courthouse

CALEXICO – The courthouse in Calexico will be closed next month. Now leaders are taking action to have that stopped.

“Closing Calexico in one fell swoop without any justification or a plan B, like maybe opening it two days a week that would be a great compromise, but I don’t hear that coming,” Imperial County Board of Supervisor John Renison said.

According to judicial officials, opening the court for a few days a week isn’t an option. Instead, all official business normally handled by the Calexico Court will be handled in El Centro starting June 15.

“If you’re going to use the building one day a week, you still have to keep the air conditioner and everything else running, the alarm system and everything else. It’s not necessarily all about the staff. It’s about the infrastructure that you have,” Court Executive Officer Kristine Kussman said.

Judge Raymond Cota works out of the Calexico courthouse. He opposed the decision to close.

“The people in the Calexico community as well as from the Mexicali valley have a very great need for having readily accessible courts,” Cota said.

In a few weeks the state may pass the budget to include $100 million extra dollars that may go toward the court system. And Renison would like the court to hold off until the State decides.

“I don’t think that the legislative proposal for an extra $100 million statewide is going to fix the billion dollar deficit,” Kussman said.

Renison is hoping that this Calexico Courthouse will remain open if the money does come in.

The jail court will be moving to the Brawley courthouse and the juvenile court will be moved to the El Centro courthouse.